Student Internships Gain Donor Support

From Chicago to Alaska to China, Knox students receive support for internships through gifts from Knox alumni, parents, and friends

June 24, 2013

Knox College - Max Potthoff

From Chicago to Alaska to China, eight Knox College students pursuing internships this summer in non-profit service, environmental conservation, and community development are receiving support for their positions through gifts from Knox College alumni, parents, and friends. Unique to Knox, these supported internship programs compensate students as they gain experience in critical sectors for the nation's future.

"Internships that are supported by donors provide new opportunities for Knox students, businesses and non-profit organizations that might not have been able to initiate internships on their own," said Terrie Saline, coordinator of Knox's Bastian Family Career Career.

Schwartzman Environmental Fund
The Schwartzman Environmental Fund will support three internships. Max Potthoff '14, an environmental studies and creative writing major, will intern with Environ Consulting in Shanghai, China; Jason Deschamps '16, an environmental studies major, with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation in West Africa; and Zoe Marzluff '15, an international relations and environmental studies major, with Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Schwartzman Environmental Fund was created by Knox alumni Rick '79 and Anne Johnson Veague '80, to support internships for Knox students, after an internship helped their son, Thomas Veague '12, to jumpstart his career in environmental advocacy. Now with the American Council On Renewable Energy in Washington, DC, Thomas Veague was the recipient of a Conservation/Rural Development Internship in 2011 that allowed him to work at The Alliance for Affordable Energy in New Orleans. The Schwartzman fund is named in honor of one of Veague's teachers at Knox, Peter Schwartzman, associate professor and chair of environmental studies.

Knox College - Allison Fry Allison Fry (second from left) leads a 'Take Back the Night' march. Her internship goal: translate activism into a career.

Hirsch-Zucker Endowed Fund for Non-Profit Internships
Gabrielle Charles '14 and Allison Fry '15 are both receiving support from the Hirsch-Zucker Endowed Fund for Non-Profit Internships. Created by Knox alumni Paul Zucker '78 and Susan Haerr Zucker '78, the fund provides financial assistance for students participating in internships with non-profit organizations.

Charles, majoring in anthropology/sociology and economics, will intern at Urban Anthropology, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, conducting research within immigrant communities and helping young people in the city create a mural about the history of Milwaukee.

Fry, majoring in gender and women's studies, will work with CodePink in Washington, DC.  "When I learned about this internship opportunity at CodePink, I realized that my activism could translate into a career," said Fry.

Knox College - Michael BelitzIn an off-campus program last year in Australia, Michael Belitz studied rainforest conservation (and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef). This summer, he's headed for a conservation internship in Alaska.

Wild Salmon Conservation and Restoration Internship Fund
Michael Belitz '14 will spend the summer in Alaska working with the Sitka (Alaska) Conservation Society, supported by the Wild Salmon Conservation and Restoration Internship Fund. The fund is made possible by former Knox faculty member Nic Mink, with additional support from Knox and the Sitka Conservation Society.  "Learning how a well-established conservation society runs their operations would be extremely beneficial in aiding my future endeavors," said  Belitz.

Conservation/Rural Development Internship Fund
Two students will have their hands full, as they work with a business maintenance operation that is expanding into sustainable living and construction, in internships supported by the Conservation/Rural Development Internship Fund.

The Conservation/Rural Development Internship Fund was created by Gary and Jana Funk, the parents of a Knox graduate, Megan Funk '12. Last year, Gary Funk also helped organize the KnoxCorps program, a community service initiative created by Knox College and the Galesburg Community Foundation.

The students, Neal Moon '14, and Marie Anderson '14, will help set up Artisan Farms, which will produce hydroponic systems for growing food using less land and water. They will also work with Artisan Brick and Stone Restoration, which repairs historic buildings as an alternative to demolition or new construction.

"I hope to enter the field of environmental policy-making, and this internship will give me experience in dealing with different entities that all have different priorities, whether they're addressing structurally at-risk historic buildings or waste aversion and sustainable food production," said Anderson.

Moon, who also plays football at Knox, said the internship will combine his interest in historic preservation with his "passion for intensive physical labor... My previous experience includes six and a half years working on a farm, and one summer working for a grain elevator on the Mississippi River."

Knox College - Neal Moon

The Bastian Family Career Center at Knox College helps Knox students arrange internships and volunteer service, enter the job market and plan for graduate school -- including more than 80 internships and job experiences in 2012-13 alone. For employers, the center coordinates on-campus interviewing and recruiting events. All of the center's resources on campus are also available to Knox alumni.